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Readers go beyond the game with 'Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1'

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'Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1' Graphic Novel

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DC Comics takes the story from one of its most popular video games and puts it on the printed page with the graphic novel collection "Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1." I don't play games, so I had no idea what to expect from this prequel. What we get is an elaborate "Elseworlds"-type tale that shows us an alternate take on the characters we know and love.

After Superman is tricked into killing Lois Lane by hallucination-inducing Kryptonite, he wages unforgiving war on any and every villain, warlord, or crooked world leader he finds. Gone is the Man of Steel who believed in justice through the judicial system. He has reached his capacity for compassion and now immediately kills any evildoer on sight.

Things get more dangerous when Superman begins putting together a Justice League of sorts who agree with his new-found stance of zero tolerance. Batman must form his own group of super heroes willing to go up against the Man of Steel and his gang and show the world that not all super heroes have lost their sense of morality.

Writer Tom Taylor takes the world of "Injustice: Gods Among Us" and expands it past the barriers of the video game it's based on. Although I steer clear of alternate universe storylines, I have to say this one kept my attention and was a lot of fun. It's interesting to escape the confines of the DC Universe continuity and let the chips fall where Taylor wills them to.

Several artists worked on "Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1." They include Jheremy Raapack, Mike S. Miller, Bruno Redondo, Axel Gimenez, David Yardin, Tom Derenick, Marc Deering, and Diana Egea. Although they each have their own style, they all blend well together and don't really distract from the story. It's interesting to see all the alternate costumes for the different super heroes.

Four variant covers are included as bonus material for "Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1." All of them were used for various printings and one as a game variant cover. They're not much, but the illustrations are striking and frame-worthy.

As far as content is concerned, I would rate "Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1" as PG-13. There's the usual violence that comes along with super hero comics and some language. Of course, some of the female characters wear revealing clothing, which is to be expected.

"Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1" is a thrilling graphic novel that removes the reader from the confines of the canonical DC Universe we're served up every month. Although I rarely find it necessary to veer off the beaten path, this is the perfect example of an instance where I'm glad I did. Even if you don't play video games, there's plenty to enjoy in the prequel to the best-selling game.

"Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1" is available now in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions.

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